Housing partnership for LU, State Tech

A new housing partnership between Lincoln University and Missouri State Technical College is a win-win, the institutions say.

Lincoln is in the process of bringing Tool Hall, one of its nine residence halls, online to Lincoln and State Tech students this fall. The two institutions are expressing their partnership with the agreement to be signed this week.

Tull Hall, which underwent a $3.5 million renovation in 2001, can accommodate up to 88 students in its suites. The hall has not been used for the past year because there are not enough students at Lincoln who need it.

Those extra beds are critical to State Tech, but housing is running out in Lynn, as record enrollment numbers outpace local development.

“I think it’s one of those things that benefits both sides,” State Tech spokesman Brandon McElwain said. “We were able to use the building and our students were able to find housing — affordable and comfortable housing. We’re grateful to Lincoln for allowing that to happen.”

Jeremy Faulk, Lincoln’s chief of staff, said it’s an exciting partnership that Lincoln will use to attract more students seeking a four-year degree.

“The fact that they are a two-year technical school and we are a four-year university gives us the opportunity to increase enrollment and be a steward of individuals who want to convert that associate’s degree into a bachelor’s degree,” he said.

The partnership will allow State Tech students to transfer their associate’s degree to Lincoln and pursue an advanced degree, he said. The degree transfer opportunity is limited to State Tech students who earn an associate of science in business, Faulk said, but Lincoln is open to exploring additional ways to become an associate in academics.

McElwain The number of State Tech students choosing to live on the Lincoln campus is growing every day. As of Monday, more than 24 students, all male, have been enrolled.

Faulk said the partnership does not limit the number of State Tech students who can live in Lincoln.

“Living on campus allows them the opportunity to feel like they’re part of LU — their home away from home,” he said.

State Tech students living in Lincoln pay State Tech room and board as usual, but Lincoln pays for the housing. State Tech cuts a check each semester for the full cost of the classes students use.

State Tech students are responsible for providing their own transportation from Jefferson City to class, McElwain said.

The technical college recently hired a resident manager to live in Tull Hall to provide engagement services, said Chris Bowser, State Tech’s vice president of student affairs. That employee is responsible for advising the State Tech Student Government Association and coordinating intramural sports on campus.

“It’s a win-win for our students because we’re creating a living-learning community that’s about 20 minutes from our main campus,” Bowser said.

State Tech students are not required to purchase a meal plan for either institution, but Bowser said both institutions are opening cafeterias for State Tech students and have a one-time-a-day meal plan that is convenient for traveling between the two campuses. Individual meals can also be purchased as needed.

McElwain’s residence in Lynn was not completely filled, but getting there.

“A lot of apartments fill up very, very quickly,” he said. “We also have a partnership with a hotel here in town to let students stay there – maybe for a week – at a discounted rate, so knowing it’s the sixth year, we’re trying to look at all options. Record numbers mean there’s a squeeze on housing.

“It’s a good problem to have,” he added.

State Tech has experienced five consecutive years of record-breaking enrollment, surpassing 2,000 students last fall. McElwain said the college will have another year of record-breaking enrollment.

The MoU being signed by the two institutions will provide State Tech houses for the next academic year. Bowser said the partnership could continue as long as it makes sense for both institutions.

“If they can fill those residence halls, we understand, and that’s a good thing for Lincoln,” he said, adding that State Tech is open to future collaborations with the university.

McElwain said developers are committed to building two hundred more housing units in Lynn by this time next year.

State Tech has 144 beds on campus, McElwain said, meaning the remaining 1,850 students are considered commuters.

He said the college does not have readily available data on how many students from Jefferson City currently commute to Lynn.

The enrollment numbers are in stark contrast to Lincoln’s enrollment, which has been in decline for a decade. Lincoln had 1,690 undergraduate students and 103 graduate students on campus last fall.

Faulk said Lincoln’s focus on growing enrollment is moving the needle forward, but each institution is looking to increase the number of students it serves. Lincoln will release enrollment numbers a few weeks into the semester.

We are on target.

Bowser, who watched the partnership on the State Tech end, said it was a positive experience throughout.

“They welcomed us with open arms,” ​​he said. “And we’re excited to be able to serve our students and provide housing while they attend State Tech, and we think it’s going to be a great college experience at Lincoln. We’re excited!”

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